Real Wedding Wednesday: The Day That Was Seven Years in the Making

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  You know, I really get so pumped whenever a bride agrees to letting me get uber nosy about her big day.  I get dance in my chair happy when a bride actually comes to me to make a special post dedicated to the wedding.  And, as always I am thrilled to oblige.  My June couple is Caty and Justin.  There is at least one couple in your life that you know will last forever because they are, in the words of Mindy Kaling, true pals.  Caty and Justin is one of those couples.  Just so adorable.  I am going to hand it over to Caty now, though, a fellow blogger.  She is a writer, talented, check out her blog!

CATY + JUSTIN

NOVEMBER 14, 2010

garter catch

Caty and Justin Waterfield

Wedding Date: November 14, 2010

Wedding Location: Cleveland Park in Spartanburg, SC

Bride Occupation: Blogger

Groom Occupation: Electron Microscopist for Duke University

What was your budget? Ithink after everything was said and done, my mom and I calculated that the wedding came in right at $8,000.  I’m not sure of a breakdown, because my mom handled nearly all of the costs!

rings

How many guests did you have? ~200

Talk About the Ceremony: I had the officiant, Justin, and Luke (my Dude of Honor) walk in first.  The honor attendants walked in as couples then split at the front.  And then both of my parents walked me down the aisle.  My stepdad sang a solo during the unity candle, and I kept my blusher on until the kiss.  Justin and I exchanged short sentiments to each other before the traditional vows.  That was our answer to writing our own vows.  After the kiss, we turned to face our family and friends and were met with deafening applause.  We both threw our fists into the air, and it turned out to be my favorite picture of the day.  After that, we held back to take photos and then went downstairs to have our reception.

fistpump

What Was Your Biggest Challenge? Dealing with other people’s opinions.  My MIL didn’t have a wedding, she and my FIL got married at the courthouse.  So she thought this was her chance to plan a wedding, and it turned out to be incredibly frustrating.  Even my own mother had her fair share of opinions and things that just “had” to be included.  Other than that, finding a location turned out to be pretty hard.  I had to look for a month straight before I could find anything I liked/that was available/that didn’t cost my firstborn.

table2

What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?  I made all of our paper stuff myself.  I designed and self-printed our save-the-dates, our invitations, and our programs.  I also made my twin brother my Dude of Honor, since I didn’t want to have to decide between any female friends for the top title, and also because I felt closest to him.  He even held my bouquet. 🙂  My mother made my veil for me too, in addition to the bridal party’s dresses.

programs

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?  We didn’t orient our wedding to our guests.  During my planning, I found that one of the “rules” that is drilled into your head is to consider your guests and make sure and accommodate them.  And that’s fine, you should consider your guests to a degree.  But the way I saw it, I didn’t even need guests to get married.  I could just go to City Hall and sign a piece of paper, but I chose to include them.  Being my friends, they should want that day to be about Justin and I getting married, not being concerned with our buffet and its lack of vegan food.  You can rack up some serious money trying to do favors, or out-of-town fun things, or even making sure your reception food caters to gluten-free eaters.  As long as you’re happy with your wedding, everyone else should be too.kiss3

Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great?  No, for some things it was the complete opposite!  We had decked out Justin’s little cousin to be the most adorable flower girl in history, complete with a brown satin basket with orange flower petals to match our decor.  Just as she was supposed to walk down the aisle, she had a meltdown and wouldn’t go!  Then, the morning of the wedding, none of the bridesmaid’s dresses fit.  It was a nightmare at the time, but nothing major got fowled up the day of the wedding, thankfully!together

What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?  Research.  Give yourself a realistic budget if you need to, and make sure you’re not getting swindled, or make sure you couldn’t just do it yourself.  Don’t save small stuff til the last minute; it then gets upgraded to big stuff.  Give yourself a good month or so of just brainstorming.  In my first few months of planning, even though I had been fantasizing about marrying Justin for years, I was suddenly facing this wedding with real ideas.  I must have gone through 50 different color schemes.  Make sure it’s what you really-really want before committing.  And the biggest in my opinion: do NOT entrust a friend to do something for your wedding unless they are actual professionals and/or have been doing the trade for a long time.  I can’t stress this enough.  I’ve seen it mess up so many weddings.  At some point, quality takes the front seat over saving money.ceremony

What was your biggest splurge? The cake.  I had designed a three-tier cake with special sayings or words written on the tiers.  Since it was technically a custom cake, it ended up costing almost $800.  It was also a white chocolate cake with butter creme icing.  It was to die for.

cake2

What was your favorite detail? I loved all the fall accents.  Our decorations were full of pumpkins and acorns and especially leaves.  One of my favorite things was the pumpkin carriage – I wanted that so bad!  It was all really lovely.  Several of our wedding decorations are still up in our home today.

table

What is the most memorable moment of your day? I remember waking up in my childhood bedroom and thinking, “This is the last day I’m going to wake up and not be married to him.”

parents

What was the funniest moment of the day? At the reception, after most of our parents’ friends and other guests left, I walked up to a table of our friends and put my hand on my hip and said, “What’s up, bitches?”  Everyone got a big kick out of that.

cakeeat

Vendors:

Photography and Videography – Unforgettable Wedding Photography

Cake and cake stand – Tasteful Elegance

Food – Brett Light (a friend)

Location – Cleveland Park Event Center

Flowers and Candelabras – Kennedy Street Florist

Dress – The Marriage Vine

Tuxes – Visions Formals

 

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